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  • Posted October 31, 2009

    Doubleback is a great story

    Doubleback by Libby Fischer Hellmann
    This book was really good. I read her last book, Easy Innocence and thought it was good, but this one is even better! It has kidnapping, murder, drug trafficking, cartels, Chicago, Mexico, Arizona, and manages to put it all together in a well-plotted, and very exciting story. The character, Georgia Davis, a former cop now a P.I., is a really tough, no nonsense, woman, who you really like. Her friend, Ellie Foreman, is also in it, and has books of her own, but the real protag is Georgia. And it's Georgia that won't give up until she solves the mystery and rights the wrongs, in the name of the children that are left behind. It starts out with a friend of Ellie's wanting her help with her little girl's kidnapping, and Ellie gets her friend, Georgia to talk to her. The child is returned but several murders and much more happen before they can even figure out what is going on. This is a book not easily forgotten and very hard to put down, once you start it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story, a loveable but tough female P.I., and a suspense mystery thriller that is hard to stop reading to the end. Get it now, you won't be sorry.

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  • Posted October 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Crossing the Line

    Ellie Foreman's friend calls one day with a plea for help. Her neighbor's daughter, Molly, has been kidnapped. This isn't the type of thing Ellie has any experience with or knowledge of, but she has a friend who might just be able to help - PI Georgia Davis. Despite the kidnappers' insistence that no police be involved, Davis says that is the only option for Molly's mother, Christine. When Davis turns the ordeal over to the cops and Molly is amazingly returned unscathed, Davis believes the issue is behind her - close the books on that case. Until a few days later when Christine dies in a suspicious car accident and her ex-husband hires Davis to investigate what really happened to his ex-wife for fear Molly may still be in danger.

    Foreman and Davis team up to investigate Christine's "accident" and find themselves investigating something much larger as they follow the trail from Wisconsin to Arizona and into the ugly depths of a government-contracted security company, illegal immigration, and drug smuggling.

    Simply put, DOUBLEBACK is a book that moves. No one told Libby Fischer Hellman that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line because Davis' trip to Arizona is brimming with twists and turns. Yet, I'm certain most readers will arrive in record time. As with EASY INNOCENCE, Hellmann's plot is multi-layered and peppered with heavy social issues, which ultimately draw the reader deeper into the plot line.

    Hellmann has filled DOUBLEBACK with a series of insightful juxtapositions, the most obvious being the two main characters, Ellie Foreman and Georgia Davis. Davis even notices the oddity of their friendship, one she wouldn't have expected to develop. And in every one of those juxtapositions Hellmann reveals an unstated message essential to the themes of the novel and the development of the characters.

    In EASY INNOCENCE and now again in DOUBLEBACK, Davis is affected by the circumstances of a young girl, but in DOUBLEBACK we see the circumstances of a young boy also take their toll on this strong, independent female PI. Again, another example of the juxtapositions used in this case to develop the depth of Davis' character. There is nothing simple about Georgia Davis.

    While Georgia Davis may have needed to, Libby Fischer Hellman doesn't need to "doubleback." She's indisputably crossed the line into the realm of great crime fiction writers. There's no going back now.

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  • Posted September 18, 2009

    Fast, dynamite

    Dynamite. It is not unusual for an author of crime fiction who has them, to bring together two or more protagonists from different series. It is less usual for the blend to be this successful, particularly when the two women involved are as different as are private investigator Georgia Davis, late of a North Shore (Illinois) suburban police department, and commercial television producer, Ellie Foreman. One is single, the other divorced with a teen-aged daughter.

    Davis is a classical tough female investigator, although she lacks enough experience to avoid some fairly obvious traps the author throws at her. Foreman, on the other hand, the more cautious but more experienced mystery solver, is a good stay-at-home worrier. The point being the two women play well off each other. One of the interesting twists is the way the two become involved in this nasty thing.

    Foreman drags a reluctant Davis into an investigation of the kidnapping of a child, little Molly Messenger. Davis knows the police have far better resources to handle this, but Foreman is persistent. Later, as the tension winds up and the question of why Molly suddenly reappears, her mother, an IT manager at a big local bank, has a questionable accident, and then her boss has a similar mishap. Suspicions rise and very quickly, PI Davis take the bit in her teeth, in a manner of speaking. The tables are turned and Foreman is unable to restrain her new friend from haring off on what is clearly becoming a dangerous case of the highest order.

    Born of current mid-east activity, the novel carefully blends first and third points of view in a way that enhances the action and the mystery. This is a fine example of a novelist who stretches her talent and her vision to create a fast-paced, enthralling work of fiction. I for one hope we see more of these two competent women working together.

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